New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has shared a DIY video on mask making days before face coverings become mandatory across the country in certain situations.
In a candid online chat with local community health leader Dave Letele, the Prime Minister discussed the importance of wearing a face covering to help prevent the spread of coronavirus but also stressed they didn’t have to be “expensive surgical masks”.
The Pacific nation of five million people appeared to have community transmission of COVID-19 well and truly behind it, but reintroduced lockdown restrictions in its largest city Auckland this month following a fresh outbreak.
With restrictions to scale back on Sunday, Ms Ardern said in a Facebook post she was taking matters into her own hands before masks become compulsory on public transport across the country from Midnight Sunday.
"One of the things we talked about was face coverings, and how to make your own at home," Ms Ardern, who faces a general election in October, wrote in the post.
After viewing an online demonstration on DIY face masks by New Zealand scientist Michelle Dickinson, Ms Ardern said she wanted to attempt to replicate the mask.
Using a patch of red fabric, scissors and two elastic hair ties, the Labor leader showed off her crafting skills and made a simple mask before donning it for the camera.
"That's my first time crafting," she said. "I'm going to pull out my glitter gun later."
The Kiwi PM was praised for showcasing the DIY public health measure with many followers applauding the leader for simplifying the message around face coverings during the pandemic.
“Good on you Jacinda for showing people how to make a simple mask I think some of us (including myself) are putting too much thought into it and sometimes as you displayed, it is not difficult - less is best,” one Facebook user replied.
“I’m not a Labor supporter generally but I think you are an amazing leader and person and doing a great job,” another commented.
“It was great to listen to you both and the care you showed towards the people of New Zealand. We have so much respect to our PM, Jacinda, you are an inspiration to many of us.
“You are giving so much strength to us in these hard times. Wearing masks is the right way to protect ourselves and others from this deadly virus,” a local wrote.
About 150 people have been diagnosed as part of the cluster that originated in Auckland, which is home to 1.7 million people, but daily new case numbers have slowed to single digits this week.
On Friday, New Zealand reported five new cases in Auckland and seven more in quarantine after arriving from overseas.
The country has so far recorded just under 1400 COVID-19 cases, including 22 deaths during the pandemic.
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